News

    US Fines Swiss Bank for Sanctions Violations

    U.S. law enforcement officials announced Wednesday that they have reached an agreement with one of the world's largest global banks - Credit Suisse - on an investigation involving Iran and other countries trying to evade long-standing U.S. economic sanctions. 

    Credit Suisse has agreed to pay a fine of $536 million in connection with a probe into violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran and other countries.

    The agreement was detailed at a news conference here in Washington by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

    "Credit Suisse, like all other major global banks, knew well that the United States would not process financial transactions from individuals or companies in places like Iran, Libya, Sudan, Burma and Cuba," said  Eric Holder. "But rather than adhere to the law and decline to serve these customers, Credit Suisse established a business model to allow these rogue players access to United States dollars."

    Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer described the company's conduct as egregious over a period of several years.  He said Credit Suisse moved hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. financial system for countries trying to evade U.S. laws, especially Iran.

    "The manner in which Credit Suisse carried out its illegal activities is quite simply stunning," said Lanny Breuer. "The bank's actions ranged from stripping out or redacting the word 'Iran' from payment messages, to substituting code words and abbreviations for Iranian customer names."

    Stuart Levey is the Treasury Department's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.  He said international financial institutions need to be wary of Iran's desire to evade economic sanctions.

    "This case also provides a critical and timely lesson about the Iranian government's use of deceptive practices to evade sanctions, and the fact that banks that do business with Iran expose themselves to the risk of being involved in Iran's proliferation and terrorism activities," said Stuart Levey.

    Officials say the fine levied on Credit Suisse could have been worse had the company not cooperated after the investigation began.  They also say the company has already made policy changes to bring it into compliance with U.S. sanctions laws.

    Attorney General Holder said the case should send a strong signal to the rest of the world.

    "Credit Suisse's decades-long scheme to flout the rules that govern our financial institutions robbed our system of the legitimacy that is fundamental to its success," he said. "We cannot let this stand.  And today's settlement sends a strong message that we will not let it stand."

    The settlement with the Swiss banking giant is the largest penalty ever assessed by the U.S. officials responsible for monitoring sanctions violations.
     


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora